The romantic Waltz is one of the most popular ballroom dances of all time. Considered by some as the “mother of present day dances” and the “backbone dance” of the ballroom, the Waltz is the basis for many ballroom dances. The Waltz was born as an Austro-German folk dance known as the Landler, which was characterized by the rotating movements of partners dancing together. The modern Waltz has developed into a beautiful smooth dance that travels around the line of dance in soft, flowing motions.
One of the most fascinating of all dances, the tango is a sensual ballroom dance that originated in South America in the early twentieth century. Several different styles of tango exist, each with its own individual flair. The international style Tango is danced in a closed frame and characterized by sharp staccato movements and strong, dramatic head snaps. Tango has become very popular in recent years, as evident by the various movies developed around the dance, such as Scent of a Woman, Take the Lead, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
The Viennese Waltz is the classic, original Waltz often featured in old films. The elegance and charm of the Viennese Waltz reminds us of glamorous balls in the palaces of Europe. The Viennese Waltz is a quick, rotating dance, much faster-paced than the classic, slow Waltz. It is characterized by sweeping turns that move gracefully around the floor.
The Foxtrot was developed in the United States in the 1920s. Named after its inventor, entertainer Harry Fox, the Foxtrot is often associated with the smooth dancing style of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. A beautiful, romantic dance, the Foxtrot is composed of fairly simple walking steps and side steps. The dance combines slow steps, which use two beats of music, and quick steps, which use one beat of music. Because of its smoothness, it is often referred to as the Rolls Royce of the standard dances.
Quickstep is an International Style ballroom dance that is similar to the Foxtrot but is faster and significantly more active in its nature. The Quickstep was developed in the 1920s in England. During this time, many bands began playing the Foxtrot at a faster pace, earning the name Quick Foxtrot. In 1927 the Charleston was combined with the Quick Foxtrot resulting in a name that was much too long: the Quick Time Fox Trot and Charleston, so it became known simply as the Quickstep. Elegant, smooth and glamorous, Quickstep dancers are energetic while appearing extremely light on their feet. Although difficult to master and perform, the Quickstep is lots of fun to watch.